was the extension of the bush tax cuts. president obama wasn't interested in a deal because he didn't have much leverage. that meant any deal would favor the republicans and alienate his core constituencies. you fast forward to now, look, all negotiations go through ups and downs, but the bottom line is that both sides need a deal. if the republicans push us off the fiscal cliff, they will be blamed for the subsequent recession and they'll pay the price in 2014. president obama also needs a deal because history doesn't remember who the speaker of the house was during a period of weak economic growth. the president gets the credit or the blame. he's going to be written about for 300 years and he does not want to preside over eight years of the weakest growth in u.s. history. so, he needs a deal so that the next four years are better than the last four years. >> we'll see. obviously, still the opening days of this process. charlie, the fed chairman in new york yesterday referring to these talks, reiterating how important it is they get done. he coined the term, fiscal cliff, "the washington post"